If you plan to stay for 7 days in Alice Springs, Northern Territory and want to explore the Red Centre in your own vehicle, this itinerary will help you make the most out of your Alice Springs adventure! It is not only the cultural but the spiritual centre of Australia and a must-do on your bucket list!


Alice Springs to Uluru to Alice Springs Distance

Drive the 1,242 km loop from Alice Springs and explore the vast and diverse landscapes of the Red Centre. Discover icons of the Australian continent, from Uluru and Kata Tjuta to Kings Canyon, Alice Springs and the West MacDonnell Ranges. Keep in mind, without any pitstops, you’re looking at a solid 13 hours and 15 minutes behind the wheel.

Quick stats

1242km trip distance

7 day roadtrip

Campervan recommended

road trip map

Day 1-2: Alice Springs to Glen Helen

Travel time: 1 hour 30 minutes

On your first two days you’re setting off from Alice Springs and heading straight for Glen Helen. Now, let us tell you, this isn’t your average road trip stop. It’s a full-on, two-day adventure that will leave you amazed by the beauty of Australia’s Outback.

There’s a waterhole that’s just begging to be swum in, surrounded by these massive red quartzite cliffs. It’s like walking into a natural masterpiece. And the wildlife? You’ll see rock wallabies, euros, and even some reptiles if you’re lucky.

After all that excitement, of course, you’re going to need a place to rest. That’s where Discovery Parks – Glen Helen comes in. They’ve recently spruced the place up, and it’s the perfect spot to recharge.

Sightseeing 1: Glen Helen Gorge

You know those places that just make your jaw drop? Glen Helen Gorge is one of them. Nestled in the West MacDonnell Ranges, this natural chasm has been around for a whopping 500 million years. That’s a lot of birthdays! This spot has been a key meeting place for local people for centuries. If you’re up for it, dip your toes in the pristine waterhole. Just remember, safety first – watch out for those varying depths.

Sightseeing #2: The Ochre Pits

Now, let’s talk colours. The Ochre Pits are a sight to behold. It’s like nature’s own art palette. These colourful mineral deposits have been used by Aboriginal people for generations. This isn’t just dirt – it’s an essential part of culture and tradition, used in everything from painting to body decoration. And guess what? It’s also the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a barbecue lunch. How’s that for multi-purpose?

Day 3-4: Glen Helen to Kings Canyon

Travel time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Now, let us tell you about your next epic destination – Kings Canyon. It’s not just any canyon, but a massive one with red rock walls shooting up over 100 metres. For days 3 and 4, you’ll definitely enjoy all the trails available – whether you’re a newbie hiker or a seasoned pro. The Rim Walk? It’s got views that’ll stop you in your tracks. And the sunset at the resort? It’s like watching a live painting unfold.

If you’re into culture, the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience is a must-do experience. For the adrenaline junkies, there are helicopter tours and ATV buggies that will leave you speechless with so much excitement. That’s why trust us when we say that Kings Canyon is an adventure you won’t surely forget.

Sightseeing #1: Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Have you ever felt like you’re on top of the world? That’s the Kings Canyon Rim Walk for you. It’s a 6-kilometre hike that’s as tough as it is rewarding. Yes, there are 500 steep steps at the beginning, but once you’re up, you’re in for a treat.

You’ll stumble upon Priscilla’s Crack, get lost in the Lost City, and find tranquillity in the Garden of Eden. If you can, catch the sunrise – the play of colours on the sandstone is nothing short of spectacular. Just remember to dress for the weather and keep your water bottle handy!

Sightseeing #2: Watarrka National Park

Now, let’s hit the road for a bit and head to Watarrka National Park. This place is a treasure trove of nature, with over 750 species of plants calling it home. But there’s more to Watarrka than just its green cover. The Luritja people have been living here for over 20,000 years, and their legacy lives on in the form of rock paintings and engravings. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure junkie, or a nature lover, you’ll be amazed by what Watarrka has to offer.

Day 5-6: Kings Canyon to Uluru

Travel time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Picture a gigantic rock formation that’s been around for 550 million years. Cool, right? Now, for days 5 and 6, you’ll experience it all – the colour-changing spectacle that’ll have you reaching for your camera at sunrise and sunset. And the Anangu people, the traditional owners, they’ve got stories about Uluru that will blow your mind. Not to mention, Ayers Rock Resort has every accommodation option you could think of – from camping to luxury hotels.

All in all, Uluru is more than a landmark – you will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this special place. Plus, there’s camel tours and starlit dinners to boot.

Sightseeing #1: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Once you’re in Uluru, we’re telling you – you can’t miss the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. These huge rock formations are like stepping into an ancient world. In fact, the Anangu Aboriginal people have been here for thousands of years, and once you see the sunrise over Uluru, you’ll understand why. Trust us, it’s a sight you will keep coming back to in your mind.

Sightseeing #2: Kata Tjuta Sunset View Area

Now, if you’re a fan of sunsets, we’ve got just the place for you. Over at the Kata Tjuta Sunset View Area, you’ll see the domes go from soft pink to fiery red as the sun dips below the horizon. Just remember, this place is sacred to the Anangu. So, when you’re taking photos, make sure to get three domes in your shot. This way, we keep sacred sites private. Whether you’re into photography or just love a good sunset, this is one place you’ve got to check out.

Day 7: Uluru to Alice Springs

Travel time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Finally, the day comes when we bid farewell to Uluru and head back to our first love, Alice Springs. It’s like hopping into a fascinating storybook with stunning desert landscapes, a vibrant Aboriginal culture, and some of the most unique locals you’ll ever meet. Start your day floating in a hot-air balloon as the sun peeks over the horizon, or mingle with local artists in town.

If adrenaline is your thing, there’s hiking, four-wheel-drive tours, and even camel rides. Don’t forget to drop by the Royal Flying Doctor Service or the Kangaroo Sanctuary – they’re essential parts of the ‘Alice’ experience – an experience that will stick with you.

Sightseeing #1: Alice Springs Reptile Centre

After your mind-blowing experience in Uluru, let’s take a trip to a place that’s going to give you some serious bragging rights – the Alice Springs Reptile Centre. It’s not every day you get to hang out with over 100 reptiles, right? You’ll be stepping into the world of these fascinating creatures, exploring the Gecko Cave, and even snapping a selfie with Terry the Saltwater Crocodile (safely behind glass, of course!).

If you’re into watching meal times, the lizards won’t disappoint. And when should you visit? Aim for between 11 am and 3 pm from May to August – that’s when the reptiles are most active.

Sightseeing #2: The Kangaroo Sanctuary

Once you’ve had your fill of reptilian fun, it’s time to switch gears and get ready for some kangaroo action at The Kangaroo Sanctuary. Ever fed a red roo before? Well, now’s your chance. This place started as a dream and is now one of Alice Springs’ top spots. Here, you can feed and care for these adorable marsupials and even meet the famous Kangaroo Dundee on a sunset tour.

Remember, these guys are nocturnal, so late afternoon is when they start to wake up. Trust us, you’re going to love this place!

Other 5 Must-Do's You Shouldn't Miss

1. Mount Conner Lookout

Craving for something more than just Uluru? Then buckle up for a trip to the Mount Conner Lookout. On the way to Uluru, you’ll come across this rock formation that could easily pass as Uluru’s twin – that’s why they call it “Fool-uru”. The view from here? Absolutely stunning. It’s like a feast for your eyes. And keep them peeled because if you’re having a lucky day, you could spot wild camels chilling out in their natural habitat. Now, that’s a sight you don’t see every day, right?

2. Kathleen Springs Walk

Ever heard of Kathleen Springs? It’s this tucked-away spot in Alice Springs that you’ve got to check out. Take a stroll through this oasis, it’s like stepping into another world. As you walk, you’ll start to understand its deep cultural importance to the local Aboriginal folks. Oh, and keep your eyes open for the locals – wallabies and birds – they’re part of what makes this peaceful nook so magical.

3. Ellery Creek Big Hole

When the desert heat starts to get to you, it’s time for a refreshing swim at the Ellery Creek Big Hole. This is a natural oasis of cool, refreshing water nestled amidst stunning scenery. Remember to prioritise safety so your dip remains enjoyable.

4. MacDonnell Ranges

Got a taste for adventure? The MacDonnell Ranges are calling. Picture this – you’re trekking through diverse trails, every turn revealing a new stunning view. And guess what? You might even spot some rare plant and animal species along the way. It’s a hiker’s dream come true.

5. Camel Ride at Pyndan Camel Tracks

For a unique perspective, try a camel ride at Pyndan Camel Tracks. As the sun sets, you’re riding through the desert against the stunning backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. It’s not just sightseeing – it’s an adventure that will stay with you long after the ride is over.

If your planning your Darwin road trip then don’t forget to check out our latest deals & specials on campervan hire in Darwin.

If you want to read more of our Darwin adventures, come and explore the dedicated Darwin Road Trips. Happy Exploring!

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